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ngela Mastrogiacomo has interviewed
her favorite band four times, promoted
up-and-coming musicians all over the
country, and spoken at the prestigious South
by Southwest Music Festival as the founder
of Infectious magazine and Muddy Paw
Public Relations.
Her rock and roll dreams began at
"I knew I wanted to go to a community
college, it made financial sense in every
way," said the 28-year-old graduate of
Alvirne High School in Hudson, N.H.
Mastrogiacomo chose Middlesex
because it was close to home, and after
comparing schools in New Hampshire and
Massachusetts it was apparent to her that
MCC offered the highest quality education.
"I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with
my life," she said. "I knew I wanted to do
something with writing, but was at a loss
for what." Taking "Creative Writing" with
Humanities Professor Gail Mooney was the
spark she needed.
"Professor Mooney helped me find my voice,
shape it, and really learn to write well. That
is a huge part of PR," said Mastrogiacomo,
who graduated in 2009 with a Liberal Arts
& Sciences/Communications Concentration
degree. "It can be hard to find good
professors, but I had more than my fair share
at Middlesex."
Mastrogiacomo's fate was sealed in
January 2009 when she walked into Lupo's
Heartbreak Hotel in Providence, R.I., to see
her favorite band, Anberlin. She caught
the set of opening act The Coming Weak.
"I was totally enamored by their stage
presence and energy," she recalled. "I had
an overwhelming feeling that I had to get
the word out about this band."
Infectious, the digital music magazine, was
born. Her first interview? The Coming Weak.
"I never thought of it as a career; I mean,
I fell in love with one specific, completely
unknown band," Mastrogiacomo said. "But
then I thought, `Why stop with them?' I want
to do this with other emerging artists."
Blogs and online magazines were still new
on the scene. With no real blueprint out
there to tell her how it "should" be done,
Mastrogiacomo forged her own path.
"I very rarely know what I'm doing, but I
force myself to do it anyway," she said,
adding she pushed through her initial
nervousness in talking to musicians, not
wanting to look like just another fan girl.
"I tried to keep that in check," she said,
particularly when in the presence of
Anberlin, who she had the opportunity to
interview four times before the group broke
up in 2014.
Following graduation from MCC,
Mastrogiacomo enrolled at the University
of New Hampshire, where she continued
to write Infectious and earned a bachelor's
degree in communication arts.
"When I graduated from UNH, the job
market was awful. I kept getting laid off,"
she said. Looking for a way to leverage the
music connections she had made into a
business, she realized she needed to look
beyond Infectious.
"I learned really quickly that blogs do not
make money ever. It was a sad reality
check," said Mastrogiacomo. "So I thought
of PR. I wanted to create my own job and job
security and do what I love."
In 2013, she launched Muddy Paw PR,
named in honor of her Border Collie mix,
Sawyer. Her first client was Like Kites, a
friend's band from Australia. She has since
built a business that employs two other
publicists and two interns.
Muddy Paw has done PR for several rising
bands, such as Scribble Victory, Dream
Arcade, Hydrogen Skyline, Brian Howell
and Constant Coogan.
Mastrogiacomo bounces between living in
Toronto and "somewhere in New England."
She spent most of last year on a whirlwind
tour of the United States, including Chicago,
Nashville, Austin, San Francisco, Los
Angeles, New Orleans and Portland.
She hosted music-industry networking
events called Balanced Breakfast, a program
that originated in San Francisco, in the cities
she visited.
"The industry can be so cut-throat and this
was a good way to get people together and
network," she said. "And I got to meet a lot
of my clients in person for the first time!"
Jennifer Myers
Turning Her Passion for Rock Music into a PR Career
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14/11/2016 12:38